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Simple Machines

Lower Age: 6
Upper Age: 8
Price: $2.99
Year Added: 2016

Simple Machines is an app available through the AppStore that teaches children about the different types of simple machines. Each of the six simple machines is introduced with a different activity. Examples include splitting icebergs and sending satellites into space! Each of the activities can be completed multiple times so that kids can go back and review what they have learned. There is no one perfect solution, which gives children freedom to try different ideas. Each activity has a toggle on the side of the screen that provides arrows that indicate different forces acting on the objects and the direction and size of those forces. Ultimately, this app does a great job in introducing children to simple machines and their relation to different science concepts. This educational app is perfect for classroom learning and independent young scientists, as it provides the foundation for many important scientific concepts useful in engineering thinking and design. In addition, the Simple Machines Handbook is available for free download on the app’s website in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, German, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.



Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Make observations, apply science


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: NA


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift:

Evidence-based reasoning



Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
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  • Parents Reviews
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  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • Fantastic at explaining simple machines in a way that any child can understand clearly.”